The Midnight Rambler
by J. S. Martin

She was different, Sally was. She had an air about her. Even in the darkest back alley bars, patrons would sit a little taller when she walked into the room. Not that she was any Lauren Bacall, but she was a looker to be sure. So after sharing a needle one morning behind the county courthouse I asked her about herself. In a moment of clarity, as the poison raced through her veins, she told me her name and remarked that her family was from Colorado. She had two kids who were living with her sister in Colorado Springs. Then she put her head into my lap and nodded off. I pulled the blue tarp around us tighter as the rain began to fall harder. She was breathing deeply, and I felt as if for the first time in a long time I had made a connection with someone.

The streets are not a place for warm and fuzzies from your neighbors. The shivs, the jack-boots and the broken bottles are always waiting to plunge into your back at the first sign of weakness. Opening your life up to someone on the streets is tantamount to putting a gun into your mouth and pulling the trigger. They find your vulnerabilities, your weaknesses--and then they prey on it.

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